Overlanding in a small economy car

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RatAssassin

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I know people that camp their way across the country for a few months at a time in things as small as a Honda Fit.
I also know a 67 year old woman that rides a 400cc scooter full of camping gear to Arizona and back every year.

It can be done. And one does not have to break the bank to do it.
Avoid fads. Do what works for you. As we used to say, "Hike your own hike."
 

OverlandRS

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I have been posting about my planned idea of using a Ford Fiesta ST with a gravel rally type setup!!

I have thought about any of the Ford Mazda C2 platform vehicles or Mom's Mint 2001 LS Miata with a lift kit from Paco or a full tube frame kit conversion from Exocet. I spent about 3 years doing weekend overlanding trips offgrid with my mother at the end of her ALZ battle in the Ford Focus RS overlander. I used my bikepacking gear and a borrowed self erecting tent very (similar to the ones that OB sells in the store here). The key was to use a MR Buddy heater all day during camping to keep Mom warm.

I would be down KEEP ME POSTED I currently have a BroncoSport but seriously considering selling or trading off on a FWD or AWD Hot hatch with manual gearbox and some aftermarket support.

In regards to trailers there are many small teardrops and allot of vintage molded fiberglass egg & box trailers that can be towed by small 4 cylinder cars you just have to look for them.
 

OverlandRS

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This is very popular in Europe. There are many rallies organized each year. Many of them are organized in France.
If you go to some of the remotes parts of the world and you will see the most unsuitable vehicle that you believed had no chance of getting there is a 90 % chance that a french person drove it there.
It is not a criticism, it is admiration :)



This a 10 k miles long rally, organized each year starting in Europe and ending up in Mongolia. The participants have 1 rule. Only cars with a 1l engine maximum are admitted. Anything goes .
In france there is a very popular peugeout 205 african raid organized every year.
besides this organized events, I can tell you that I have seen personally many small cars in the most unexpected places...
How did they get there and was it practical, comfortable ?.. I have no idea..
There is also a tour of the alps organized each year by the owner clubs of BMW Isetta. This I have seen myself, I was on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road when they passed by me, at 2500 m altitude..
I have no idea of the conditions of where you want to go but, in general, it is doable.
In third world countries, people have to go on terrible roads and they don't have g wagons, most of them can't afford any kind of 4x4. And they travel and go with what ever they have available.. usually you average small car..
I drove a old grey market imported Renault 5 Alpine GR2 rally car (Many parts from US spec Renault 5 LeCar as Alpine parts weren't available in USA) for years as primary transport I have been places in that car that 4WD high clearance vehicles could not go because it was so light and powerful with a flat floor that would slide over any terrain. pics on my instagram.
 
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OverlandRS

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I was trying to come up with a name for this trip - something that reflects the opposite end of the Jeep/4-Runner/Tacoma crowd.



affordable overlanding
just git 'er done overlanding

on the theme of minimal overlanding across the Sahara Desert
Think Trabant overlanding

I think the body was paper mache, 600cc, 37cI engine. These cars went everywhere. Not sure one has been to TUK yet tho.
View attachment 193362
Like Peugeot 2CV and Renault 4CV and R4L they are all over the Sahara region and South American villages.
 

armyRN

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They sell "lift kits" for my 2008 Yaris.

These below look to be the simplest lifts you could do before you start having a domino effect with the lift (steering, shocks overextended, etc.). These kits also look like they all originate from the Ukraine/Russia. I didn't find any taller, but didn't conduct an extensive search.

Link: Lift Kits & Parts in Engine - Liter_Display:1.5L | eBay

Link: Complete Lift Kit 30mm for Toyota AQUA, AYGO, BELTA, COROLLA, IST, RACTIS, SCION | eBay ($158)

Looks like they're mostly 30mm front and rear spacers (a little over an inch - 1.2"). They also sell kits with 30mm front spacer and a 40mm rear spacer (probably a good idea if you're loading up your Yaris for an overlanding adventure to keep it level). I wonder what the largest AT tire I could get that would fit with a 1.2" lift on my Yaris? I believe my current factory size is 185/60R15.

link showing tire upsizes (the 185/60R15 is at the top of the listing @ 23.7" diameter; 24.7" would be a 205/60R15): Link: 235/50R15 Tires (tiresize.com)

And of course, you need to add something in the differentials so you're not just running an open differential. Something like this? Still researching it....

Link: Phantom Grip Limited Slip LSD Kit for diffs Toyota Yaris,Toyota Echo Manual Tran | eBay

Link: Toyota Yaris Echo Limited Slip Diff Conversion Kit (tractionconcepts.com)

(I need to find another picture of my Yaris!)Yaris.1.jpg
 
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OverlandRS

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The most important mods/concerns are wheel travel, drivetrain protection (skidplate), and traction (LSD). Anything you can do to increase wheel travel would be better than a spacer lift. Larger tires if you can fit them in the wheelwells could get you 2" of lift. I bet someone males coilovers for the Yaris who can do increased travel. Some Yaris models are actually a Mazda2 and there is a ton of aftermarket for that car.
 

armyRN

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Mine's an early Yaris (2008) - came right after the Toyota Echo. I think the Mazda versions was a later model Yaris.

A 1.2" lift and an inch taller tire would give me almost 2" of additional ground clearance.

My wife just asked me what I was doing (while I was sitting here at the computer). I told her I was looking up lift kits and traction devices for my Yaris. She told me I had too much time on my hands.

I took another picture of the mighty Yaris.

Yaris.2.jpg
 
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OverlandRS

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Mine's an early Yaris (2008) - came right after the Toyota Echo. I think the Mazda versions was a later model Yaris.

A 1.2" lift and an inch taller tire would give me almost 2" of additional ground clearance.

My wife just asked me what I was doing (while I was sitting here at the computer). I told her I was looking up lift kits and traction devices for my Yaris. She told me I had too much time on my hands.
Haha, I make sure all lady friends are just as car crazy and into cycling as I am before I get to involved. Sounds good 2" should be perfect for most gravel & B roads.
 

leeloo

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I was trying to come up with a name for this trip - something that reflects the opposite end of the Jeep/4-Runner/Tacoma crowd.



affordable overlanding
just git 'er done overlanding

on the theme of minimal overlanding across the Sahara Desert
Think Trabant overlanding

I think the body was paper mache, 600cc, 37cI engine. These cars went everywhere. Not sure one has been to TUK yet tho.
View attachment 193362
Many years ago, before 1990 my brother borrowed one for 2 weeks. They don't even have a fuel gauge, the fuel tank. sits somewhere in the engine compartment and you have a ruler with notches for liters that you use to estimate how much fuel is left. :). You need to carry with you 2t oil to mix with the petrol. Talk about a simple vehicle... :)
 

Logoris

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Guy near me did a lift and subframe drop on his yaris.

the forum thread of his build. I have a 2017 yaris I was looking at doing something similar but some how I got the only unreliable yaris

We had our yaris on a couple camping trips it handles a weeks worth of gear for 2 people( just barely) but with some Tetris everything fits and surprisingly doesn't bottom out

 
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Dean2

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It's not the size of the car, but how well you can pack it! :)

Okay, so we didn't actually camp on this trip. But, we could have, using good backpacking gear.
Badlands - SD.JPG

And an overland RS? Awesome!
 

OverlandRS

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I have looked into the New mini countryman for overlanding; but classic minis have rallied and adventured all over the planet very capable because they are light weight with decent wheel travel. I was actually building a Renault 4CV for overlanding for several years but had to give it away to care for mom during her ALZ battle, though I know where it is now :). pics on my Insta in my youngest years we drove all over the country pulling a gokart trailer with a 4CV and camping.
 

armyRN

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I want to drive the Dempster Highway all the way to Tuk, and toss a kayak into the Arctic Ocean (kinda the reason for this thread). So I need to be able to bring a kayak on the Yaris. This picture below was my setup last time I went up there (got as far as Ft Nelson before having to turn back - long story). The kayak is a 10' kayak.

Possible Dempster Highway scenario link (check it out): US East - Running the Trans America Trail (TAT) from WV to the OR coast | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

arctic prerun.1.jpg

I can pack light for the trip (I call it "backpacking - plus"). There's actually quite a lot of room inside the Yaris with the back seat down for gear (a little too small to sleep in though). What I need to do is figure out how to bring the kayak. I like to travel with it mounted upside down (like in the picture) so if it rains it doesn't start filling with water. I'm sure it is doable. I'm even willing to drill holes in the Yoda's roof for crossbars.

The basket is a Surco 40" x 50" aluminum basket. You can still put things in the basket as long as it doesn't go above the top edge, since the kayak rests on the basket. But two solid mounted crossbars could support the weight of the kayak, and it could be strapped securely to the crossbars. I don't "need' the basket to bring the kayak.

Anyone have any suggestions for mounting brackets and crossbars? I haven't started looking at Thule or Yakima or any of those yet. What have others used? Like I said; I'm willing to drill holes in the roof to make it a solid mount.
 
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OverlandRS

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Used rack and crossbars from a used rack dealer or CraigsList we have two major used rack dealers here in Portland, Oregon you may have some locally.
 

genocache

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How about an inflatable kayak?

In 2014 at the Overland Expo there was this guy, driving a Honda Insight(hybrid), he had removed the rear seat and put on a 2" lift.

DSC00392.JPG
 

armyRN

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Used rack and crossbars from a used rack dealer or CraigsList we have two major used rack dealers here in Portland, Oregon you may have some locally.
I'm an hour north of Portland. I'll have to check them out.
 

armyRN

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How about an inflatable kayak?

In 2014 at the Overland Expo there was this guy, driving a Honda Insight(hybrid), he had removed the rear seat and put on a 2" lift.

View attachment 206581
I've thought of both inflatable and folding kayaks. The main reason to take the Yota is saving gas money. And my current kayak is paid for. Plus any kayak would end up on the roof anyways (folding or inflatable would still take up space).
 

OverlandRS

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Rack Attack has a used store or at least they did last time I checked don't see on internet know, and Re-rack sells used equipment in PDX, also there are a few used sporting good stores in town that sometimes have racks like Next Adventure, Play it Again Sports, US Outdoor (maybe), possibly call EVO their a huge Portland store and may have rack options or know who does.
 

leeloo

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I took a trip to Albania and on Gjipe beach, a popular overlander spot, I saw an austrian couple with a Citroen 2 CV

1342204380662543760.jpg

Gjipe beach is popular with overlanders because the access road is extremely rough, some big rocks, I actually hit the bottom of my Hilux a couple of times on it and that guy made it.Because the access road is so bad, not so many people come there. The 2Cv stock has an absolutely impressive wheel travel and ground clearance for such a small car. Quote from wiki "it had literally been designed to cross a freshly ploughed field, because of the great lack of paved roads in France then; with a long-travel suspension system "
I was really impressed with it when I saw it there..
It is a very good option for someone who is looking to do something like this
They even built some version like a very small van


citroen-2cv-fourgonnette-de-mon-pere-9782726885390.jpg

Look at this things go.. :